Thursday, May 10, 2012

Ellen Altfest at the New Museum

Last Sunday I came upon the work of Ellen Altfest in the lobby gallery at the New Museum. Altfest, born in 1970, is a hyperrealist whose recent work seems to be about cropped, voyeuristic, and intimate pictures of men, or rather, sections of male body parts.

Her technique is pretty amazing. In her watercolors and oil paintings, she depicts individual strands of hair, thousands of them, against skin. I have no idea how she does that. Her small scale images seem so intrusive and yet unbearably tender at the same time. The exhibit also includes a few still lifes.

Altfest's paintings will be on view until June 24, 2012. More images here:

Head and Plant (2010)
Oil on canvas, 11 x 10 inches

Armpit (2011)
Oil on canvas, 8 3/8 x 7 inches

Gourds (2007)
Oil on canvas, 19 x 38 inches

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